The Politics of Nuclear Power: A History of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant

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Springer Science & Business Media, Dec 31, 1990 - Political Science - 269 pages
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Several individuals noted the potentially important civilian uses of atomic energy shortly after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. That year J. Robert Oppenheimer told a national radio audience that "in the near future" it would be possible to generate profitable electric power from "controlled nuclear chain reaction units" (reactors). It was suggested that, after fIfteen to twenty-five years of development, mature nuclear technology could provide virtually inexhaustible, cheap energy given the abundance of nuclear fuel. Admiral Lewis Strauss, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, stated that atomic power would generate electricity "too cheap to meter" (A statement that, according to Brookhaven National Laboratories' physicist Herbert Kouts, immediately "caused consternation among his technical advisors" [Kouts, 1983: 3)). For a brief period it was thought that airplanes would fly using atomic power, and homes would install small nuclear reactors for heat and hot water. 1950s and early 1960s a small number of prototype nuclear In the reactors came on line in the United States. The first power plant protoype reactor began operation in Shippingport, Pennsylvania in 1957. It was followed by the Dresden 1 unit near Chicago in 1959, the Yankee plant in Rowe, Massachusetts (1960), and the Indian Point (New York) and Big Rock Point (Michigan) plants in 1%2. These five plants had a combined 800 megawatts (800 MW), or less than one generating capacity ofless than percent of the total American electricity generating capacity in 1962.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Discoveries Uncertainties and Limits on Safety Strategies
4
Shifting Electricity Demand and Financing Problems
6
Financing Problems
8
Managerial Factors
9
Political Attitudes
16
Differences In Scientific and Broader Public Attitudes
17
The Decline in Public Support for Nuclear Power
20
The Likelihood of Major Radiation Release
110
Panels Conclusions Regarding LILCOs Ability to Manage the Plant Safely
112
Panels Conclusions Regarding Construction Quality
113
The Issue of Shorehams Economic Value
116
The Issue of State Intervention In Emergency Planning
117
Impact of the factFinding Panel
120
LILCOS Tax Maneuver and Cohalans Switch
123
The Federal Test Of Emergency Planning
126

Summary and Outline of the Book
21
SHOREHAMS BEGINNINGS
25
Developmental Problems Liabilities From Nuclear Accidents
27
Economic Problems
28
The Surge in Orders
29
The Decision To Build Shoreham
33
Basic Design of the Plant
34
Key Early Decisions
35
LILCOs Selection of a Reactor and Containment System
36
The Decision to Use Stone and Webster as Construction Manager and ArchitectEngineer
37
The Decision to Increase Shorehams Generating Capacity
41
Summary
44
Appendix to Chapter 2
45
THE EARLY POLITICS OF SHOREHAM
47
The Purpose of AECNRC Hearings
49
The Licensing Process
50
Shorehams Hearings
53
Appendix to Chapter 3
59
SHOREMANS CONSTRUCTION
62
Oversight by LILCOs Board of Directors and Others
63
LILCOs Management of the Regulatory System
66
New Piping Standards
67
Pipe Break Outside Containment
68
The Pressure Suppression Issue
69
The Size of the Reactor Building
70
LILCOs Relations With the NRC
71
The Failure of Engineering to Support Construction
72
The Decision to Suspend Engineering
73
The Dispersion of the Stone and Webster Site Team
75
Two Examples Metal Embedments
76
FieldGenerated Engineering Changes
77
LILCOs Relationship with Stone and Webster
78
Labor Productivity
80
The Failure of the Diesel Generators
82
Disallowance of Costs
83
Appendix to Chapter 4
86
THE EMERGENCY PLANNING CONTROVERSY
95
The Countys Split with LILCO
99
The Countys Withdrawal from Planning
102
The Marburger Panel
106
The Issue of Plant Safety
109
The Federal Response to State and Local Opposition
129
Appendix to Chapter 5
136
TAKEOVER SETTLEMENT OR SHOREHAM?
142
The Establishment of the Long Island Power Authority
143
Takeover Or Negotiated Settlement?
147
Negotiations
149
The Settlement
154
Projected Costs of the Settlement and Alternatives
156
Appendix to Chapter 6
163
THE POLITICS OF SETTLING SHOREHAM
167
LILCOs Progress in Licensing Shoreham
169
Legislative Action on the Settlement
172
The Initial Verdict and Attempts to Settle the Suit
176
Judge Welnstelns Dismissal of the RICO Case
179
The Revised Shoreham Settlement
183
The Federal Governments Opposition to the Settlement
187
The Administrations Opposition to the Settlement
188
The Congressional Reaction to the Settlement
189
The Economic Evaluation of the Settlement
191
Planning Horizon and Financing Planning Horizon
192
Reliability
194
Maintenance Oil and Other Costs
196
Operating and Maintenance Cost
197
Cost of Settlements Conservation Programs
198
Book Life of Investments and Decommissioning
199
The Revised Comparison of the Settlement and Shoreham
200
The Denouement at Shoreham
202
Conclusion
205
Appendix to Chapter 7
208
CONCLUSION
214
LILCO Managed Its Way Into Much of the Crisis
215
Electricity Demand Softened As Shoreham Neared Completion
217
The Movement to Eliminate LILCO
220
LILCOs Organizational Performance Improved In the Mid1980s
221
State and Local Opposition
224
Policy Personal Stakes and Decision Momentum
225
REFERENCES
228
CHRONOLOGY OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE SHOREHAM PROJECT
234
Index
255
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